Gardens for Wildlife

The Gardens for Wildlife scheme (GFW) was launched in August 2008. Participation in this conservation scheme is voluntary and non-binding. The scheme aims to encourage and recognise people who wish to make their property friendly for local wildlife and the environment. The scheme has been developed as a sister program to the long-running Tasmanian Land for Wildlife scheme.

By joining GFW you clearly demonstrate your support and commitment to protecting wildlife species and habitat. You can contribute to bringing nature home by welcoming wildlife to share your garden and by providing a healthy environment for them to do so. Environment - friendly practices are very important too, as what you do in your garden can affect other places far beyond your garden boundaries.

Membership to GFW only costs $16.50 and is open to anyone who wishes to show their support for protecting wildlife species and habitat. No matter how small your garden - regardless of whether it is just plant containers, or a courtyard, roof top garden, deck or larger space - we can all contribute to the survival of wildlife and increase awareness of protecting our natural diversity.

As at June 2019, there were 643 GFW members covering 2,961 hectares.


Benefits of membership to the GFW scheme include:
  • Contributing to the conservation of local plants and animals;
  • More time to enjoy your garden by reducing maintenance time and costs;
  • Reducing excess water through wise water use, such as mulching and use of local native plant species which are better able to tolerate drought;
  • Benefits from having native birds and insects in your garden through natural pest control (no need for chemicals), increased pollination and fruit/flower set leading to better production;
  • Increased environmental awareness; and
  • Access to the members only section of the Gardens for Wildlife website.
PLCP Gardens for Wildlife montage


Diamond in the Rough


An inspiring story from a ‘Garden for Wildlife’ member about creating a wildlife-friendly productive food garden in an urban setting – truly a Garden for Wildlife.

My husband, Andrew, and I flew home to Launceston, Tasmania for Christmas in 2014 and noticed a ‘for sale’ sign on the fence two doors down from his parent’s home.  The real estate agent kindly agreed to show us around, even though it was the holidays.  I can remember the moment we walked in the door because it was like stepping back in time.


Ellerslie House

Backyard - before (day after rubbish removed)
Photo: Jennifer Laver

Built in 1875, Ellersie house had been largely abandoned for nearly 70 years and was filled with a lifetime of dust and cobwebs.  It had no power, no kitchen, and was dark and gloomy with lead paint flaking off all the walls.

Ellerslie House

Front yard - before
Photo: Jennifer Laver

Finally, in 2015, Andrew and I quit our jobs and joined forces with his uncle (a builder) to spend six months working on the house.  This was a physically and financially challenging time, but the rewards were huge.


Ellerslie House

Demolition inside the house
Photo: Jennifer Laver

The struggles this house created are now well behind us, and Ellerslie House is now a much-loved, (nearly) fully restored beauty.



Back yard - after
Photo: Jennifer Laver

There is 0.5 acre of gardens, which are part of the DPIPWE Gardens for Wildlife network.  Ellerslie House sits in the middle of the plot, with the northern half converted to permaculture where everything from kiwi fruit to hops are grown in huge abundance.  The southern half of the block was once a junkyard, filled with abandoned vehicles, water tanks, and more shards of broken glass, nails, and screws than one could possibly count.  The junk was removed, along with decades of invasive blackberry and the land fully restored and converted to bushland, complete with a large pond and >300 Australian native plants.


Ellerslie House

Front yard - after
Photo: Jennifer Laver

- Jennifer Laver (Gardens for Wildlife member)

 To read more about and see photos of the impressive and inspiring transformation of Ellerslie house and gardens, the full article is available in the June 2019 edition of The Running Postman newsletter:

  Running Postman Newsletter No. 27 June 2019   (855Kb)


More of Jennifer and Andrew's photos of the house and garden are available on the Garden for Wildlife web site:


Additional information

If you would like more information about becoming a member of GFW please visit the Gardens for Wildlife website or fill out an application form.

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Gardens for Wildlife Coordinator
Iona Mitchell
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 4409